Amid opposition’s protest against deputy speaker, demands for grants approved for P&D and IT Depts

 

peshawar   -   Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly on Thursday witnessed a hullabaloo between the treasury and opposition benches and later two demands of grants were approved for the Planning & Development Department and Information Technology (IT) Department after a heated debate.

The assembly debated for several hours and later okayed two demands for grants for only two departments. On the other hand, the opposition raised objections over the departments concerned but refused to withdraw the cut motions they had put forward.

The opposition also criticised Deputy Speaker Mahmood Jan for what they termed a discriminatory attitude towards them.

Finance Minister Taimur Salim Jhagra presented a demand for grant of Rs89,5308,000 from the Planning & Development and Statistics Department while Minister for IT Atif Khan presented the demand for grants of Rs1332,868,000 from IT department.

However, the opposition leader Akram Khan Durrani said that no sector of the government was running according to planning, which was why the opposition had decided not to withdraw their cut motions.

He said they wanted to register their protest and would not become part of the government wrongdoings. Despite the treasury benches’ requests, the opposition said they would not take back their cut motion as protest against the deputy speaker’s behavior. However, their cut motions were rejected when the chair put to vote those motions.

Durrani criticised the Chief Minister for ignoring opposition lawmakers in the allocation of funds and asked the deputy speaker to change his attitude. He said the deputy speaker’s attitude towards the opposition was biased.

When the deputy speaker declared he would not bow to any pressure and dictates, this further annoyed the opposition MPAs who chanted slogans against him.

Akram Durrani also alleged that forests were torched in various areas in order to hide irregularities in the Billion Tree Tsunami project.

Khushdil Khan of the ANP questioned why the Chief Minister did not attend a meeting of Council of Common Interest (CCI), as it would mean ignoring the rights of the province.

ANP’s Salahuddin said the performance of Planning & Development Department was not satisfactory as his area of Hasankhel in Peshawar lacked even a single doctor or proper health facility while there was a population of 40,000.

Ikhtiar Wali Khan of the PML-N criticised the KP IT Board over the reported irregularities in recruitments and said that he might approach NAB against it. He also objected to a high salary for IT Board’s managing director in a poor province.

Several other lawmakers also criticised the performance of both the departments. However, Taimur Jhagra and Atif Khan defended their departments and assured that further efforts would be made to improve their workings.